You may have noticed the technical team led by Mike VA3MW has been making changes to the repeater system. Last week, our new controller was installed and is now functional on 147.060 and 224.860. Other repeaters will follow in the coming weeks as the integration continues.
The beep you hear is the indication that the Time Out Timer (TOT) has been reset allowing for you to continue your QSO. You are not required to wait until the repeater tail drops as you may have done in the past.
We are still in our integration phase, so there are many changes that are still ongoing as we build for the future.
There is a lot more information to come, including how to link repeaters together, etc. If you are an IRLP user, all you need to do is follow the original instructions that you may have received in your membership package, except you are not required to dial 3171 any more. Just dial the IRLP commands as outlined. Also, IRLP is only functional from 147.060 at this time. Inbound calls to IRLP will also ring out on 147.060.
Over the past weeks, we have been making a lot of changes at the Skyloft site and we would like to thank you all for your support, either financially or by volunteering. It has been so great, that we have not captured all those that have actually dropped in and we have failed to capture your name or callsign. If you have, can you please drop us an email so we can recognize you all accordingly.
What has happened so far:
The old and very trusted 6809 micro controller was removed from service last Sunday after literally decades of amazing service. There isn't much electronics that runs that long in today's world. It is a credit to those that designed her in the first place and how great a job they did starting from scratch. This innovation was so great in its time, that it was written up in IEEE magazine. We also thank Nigel VE3ID who has been one of the key surgeons who has kept her running for the last 10 years including recovering from a very major lightning strike over 10 years ago. The back of the rack is no longer off limits. 🙂
With the 6809 gone, that allows us to clean out the back room and remove everything. In order to do that, we have to turn off all the repeaters on Sunday at Skyloft. This didn't include the 2 repeaters at the CN Tower.
Mike va3mw, Nigel ve3id, Neil ve3sst, and Nathan va3nxp spent the day (October 19) working on mostly antennas. There was lots of tower climbing by Mike and Nathan while Neil and Nigel had to deal with digging up the 1 5/8" feedline and changing the connector.
The 2M 4 Bay was moved to the East tower to become the new 2M DSTAR antenna
2M VHF vertical was installed on top of the west tower. This should improve VE3RPT's coverage
2M DSTARs coverage should be much more improved as the antenna is installed 60ft higher (Ramesh --- this is for you!!! 🙂 ) 145.250Mhz - Let us know how it works in Mississauga now.
The entire 1286Mhz feedline was inspected, cut, drained. The coverage still has issues so that leaves issues with the antenna, duplexor, top connector or the repeater itself. We will figure this out, it is just going to take more time. About 3M of feedline was cut off and the bottom connector remounted.
The 220 repeater is still stand alone. We couldn't find any antenna problems (yet), but I did notice that the RF out was only 3 watts from the radio. This will limit its coverage. We will up this to close to 50w with the new repeater installation.
I have started to remove hardware to integrate into the new controller, so in doing so, I have been removing hardware from the hill. With that, the hub is offline and IRLP is offline.
1 new repeater has arrived from Yaesu. I expect the other one today.